Mobile phone giant Nokia on Monday looked to a launch in China to help it stage a comeback in the fiercely competitive smartphonemarket after a dismal 2011.
On the opening day of Mobile World Congress, where tens of thousands of executives from the industry have gathered, the phone maker said it would push its flagship Lumia smartphone series that run on the Windows platform to the Asian giant.
Announcing that Windows phones have now been made compatible with Chinese mobile operating networks, Jo Harlow, who heads the Finnish group’s smart devices division, said: “That means Nokia will bring Lumia to China.”
Beyond eyeing the massive Chinese consumer market, the group also unveiled its a new phone called 808 Pure View, which boasts a 41 megapixel sensor technology described by Harlow as a “revolution in smartphone imaging.”
While Nokia mobile handsets were once ubiquitous, the firm has been struggling to secure a foothold in the smartphone market, with Lumia so far failing to reverse falling sales in its overall smartphone business.
In the fourth quarter, Nokia sold just 19.6 million smartphones — 31 percent fewer than in the same quarter of 2010 and far behind market-leader Apple, which reported 37 million units sold, and runner-up Samsung, which announced 36.5 million smartphone sales in the quarter.
The group also posted a net loss of 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2011, compared to a net profit of 1.8 billion euros a year earlier.
Asked if the Barcelona offers would improve the group’s results, Nokia chairman and chief executive Stephen Elop said: “The most important thing is that we have demonstrated the action necessary to improve the fortunes of Nokia.”
The group is “changing the strategy and executing” the shift.
“With great products and consumers alike, the rest will fall into place,” he added.